One of the object yōkai
illustrated in the Gazu Hyakki Tsurezure Bukuro
. Its name contains two puns, the first being the homophonic relationship between the oroshi
in its name, which refers to wind blowing from the mountains, and the oroshi
(下ろし), or vegetable grater, of which it appears to be a transformation. The second is revealed in Sekien's poetic explanation:
There is a beast called
gaucho (gōcho). It is [also] called
yama-oyaji, and indeed hair-spines surround its body, and this
yōkai also resembles its name in form, so it must not be said, and I saw it not in the heart of a dream.
refers to the yama-arashi
, a spiny creature described in the Wakan Sansai Zue
which lives in groups deep in the mountains and shoots its foot-long quills like arrows when it is angry. This seems to be a fanciful description of the zoological porcupine, which today is called yama-arashi
Sekien seems to made a play on the name yama-arashi
to get yama-oroshi
, having seen the potential for a spiny, porcupine-like creature in the toothy serrations of a grater.
1. Murakami 2000 p. 344-6, Inada p. 320.